Bitten By Witch Fever: Wallpaper & Arsenic in the Victorian Home
Winner: Best Trade Illustrated Book, British Book Design & Production Awards 2017
‘As to the arsenic scare a greater folly it is hardly possible to imagine: the doctors were bitten as people were bitten by the witch fever.’ — William Morris on toxic wallpapers, 1885. Bitten by Witch Fever presents facsimile samples of 275 of the most sumptuous wallpaper designs ever created by designers and printers of the age, including Christopher Dresser and Morris & Co. For the first time in their history, every one of the samples shown has been laboratory tested and found to contain arsenic. Interleaved with the wallpaper sections, evocative commentary guides you through the incredible story of the manufacture, uses and effects of arsenic, and presents the heated public debate surrounding the use of deadly pigments in the sublime wallpapers of a newly industrialized world.
Chosen by Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss for their Belletrist Book Club's Gift Guide.